Internet, Economic Geography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article reviews the interaction between the Internet and economic geography. The term Internet is used here as a catch-all term for the use of a range of general-purpose information technologies and software deployed across public, private, and peered networks rather than a more limited definition. This article covers three main subjects. The first examines the role of distance in the age of the Internet. In other words, to what extent has the Internet ‘destroyed’ distance and what type of economic frictions remain relevant. The article then considers how Internet technologies are used to organize and move the inputs and products of the economy via a range of software and hardware platforms. Encapsulated under the label of electronic commerce, this process can engender great change within the organization and location of production and consumption. The final topic focuses on how the uneven use of the Internet across time, place, and organization creates a differentiated geography of change and challenge. The exciting potential of the Internet does not mean that a particular use or implementation is inevitable. Nor does it mean that the “world is flat” or “everything is changed.” The various drags of economic frictions are still present, and are only partially and selectively being overcome. In short, the Internet doesn’t reduce the relevance of geography. It simply adjusts which aspects of geography and which types of economic friction are most relevant for analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-12
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Distance
  • E-commerce
  • Electronic commerce
  • Friction
  • Information technology
  • Internet
  • Knowledge
  • Telecommunications
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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